The recent review by Sánchez-Bayoa & Wyckhuysb (Biological Conservation 232 (2019) 8–27) concerning the Worldwide decline of the entomofauna: A review of its drivers, makes for very sober reading.
Our sustainability statement arose as a consequence of this review. We wish to be a part of the solution, not a contributor to the problem, and any microscopy consultant working on your behalf will adhere to our sustainability protocols.
At Dowrick's Scientific Services we specialise in the photography / videography of Insects of all sizes and have photo-labs set up especially for this purpose with a variety of focus-rails, and photo-stacking options available.
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Worldwide decline of the entomofauna: A review of its drivers
A B S T R A C T
Biodiversity of insects is threatened worldwide. Here, we present a comprehensive review of 73 historical reports
of insect declines from across the globe, and systematically assess the underlying drivers. Our work reveals
dramatic rates of decline that may lead to the extinction of 40% of the world's insect species over the next few
decades. In terrestrial ecosystems, Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera and dung beetles (Coleoptera) appear to be the
taxa most affected, whereas four major aquatic taxa (Odonata, Plecoptera, Trichoptera and Ephemeroptera) have
already lost a considerable proportion of species. Affected insect groups not only include specialists that occupy
particular ecological niches, but also many common and generalist species. Concurrently, the abundance of a
small number of species is increasing; these are all adaptable, generalist species that are occupying the vacant
niches left by the ones declining. Among aquatic insects, habitat and dietary generalists, and pollutant-tolerant
species are replacing the large biodiversity losses experienced in waters within agricultural and urban settings.
The main drivers of species declines appear to be in order of importance: i) habitat loss and conversion to
intensive agriculture and urbanisation; ii) pollution, mainly that by synthetic pesticides and fertilisers; iii)
biological factors, including pathogens and introduced species; and iv) climate change. The latter factor is
particularly important in tropical regions, but only affects a minority of species in colder climes and mountain
settings of temperate zones. A rethinking of current agricultural practices, in particular a serious reduction in
pesticide usage and its substitution with more sustainable, ecologically-based practices, is urgently needed to
slow or reverse current trends, allow the recovery of declining insect populations and safeguard the vital ecosystem
services they provide. In addition, effective remediation technologies should be applied to clean polluted
waters in both agricultural and urban environments.
Francisco Sánchez-Bayoa, Kris A.G. Wyckhuysb
Biological Conservation 232 (2019) 8–27
The entire review can be downloaded here.
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